Ted Cruz Let's Build the Wall ... With El Chapo's $12 Billion!!!

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HAND IT OVER, CHAPO
TMZ.com

Ted Cruz is earmarking the billions upon billions of dollars El Chapo's been ordered to fork over to the U.S. to secure the southern border, and he says President Trump's backing his plan.

Like the Prez, the Texas Senator's all about building the wall, and he tells TMZ the next step now that the Mexican drug lord has been sentenced to life in prison ... should be to use his $12.6 BILLION fortune to make it happen.

Cruz acknowledges El Chapo's drug money might be difficult to track down, but says there should be no debate over where the cash goes once it's seized.

Ted's been serious about this for a couple years now -- he introduced legislation known as the EL CHAPO Act in April 2017, but it died ... so he reintroduced it in January.

He believes it's still a perfectly fitting conclusion to the Mexican kingpin's case. Check out his reasoning ... to Cruz it's basically poetic justice.

Not shockingly, Ted says POTUS is "enthusiastic" about the possibility of a quick and easy path to funding the wall ... for which he once promised Mexico would pay.

El Chapo Mexican Drug Lord Gets Life in Prison

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Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman will spend the rest of his life in prison ... unless he manages to escape again.

The Mexican kingpin was just handed a life sentence, plus 30 years, by the judge in a federal courtroom in Brooklyn after being convicted on all 10 counts he was facing back in February.

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He's also ordered to forfeit $12.6 BILLION to the government as a result of the dirty money he made from his criminal drug enterprise.

As we reported, El Chapo was found guilty for engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to launder narcotics proceeds, international distribution of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and other drugs and use of firearms.

The verdict came after a nearly 3-month trial in which the jury heard around 200 hours of insane testimony about drug trafficking, luxury weapons, money laundering ... and an alleged $100 million bribe to a former Mexican president.

Elizabeth Williams

El Chapo reportedly looked stunned by the guilty verdict but managed to give his wife, Emma Coronel, a double thumbs up before he was led out of the courtroom.

EL CHAPO LOADED INTO A JET
Mariana V.

Of course, all of this came after the Sinaloa Cartel's leader was captured by the Mexican government in 2014, escaped more than a year later through a mile-long underground tunnel ... only to be caught again in early 2016.

He was extradited to the U.S. in 2017, but before his trial began in November 2018, he filed a bunch of weird motions about his life behind bars -- including TV and prayers complaints -- and made a promise to not be violent with the jurors.

Months after his conviction, El Chapo filed a motion asking for more outdoor rec time while in prison and access to the general pop commissary ... but the judge said no way, due to his history.

WWE's Jeff Hardy Passed Out In Stairwell Before Arrest ... Cops Say

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Myrtle Beach PD

WWE wrestler Jeff Hardy was passed out in a public stairwell and reeked of booze before cops arrested him Saturday ... this according to new police docs obtained by TMZ Sports.

We broke the story ... Hardy was busted down in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina this weekend for allegedly being drunk in public -- and was eventually released on less than $200 bond.

Now, we've obtained police docs that say Hardy admitted to drinking vodka before cops found him passed out in a stairwell.

Hardy was facing a misdemeanor charge of public intoxication -- but we've now learned Jeff ain't facing more trouble in the case.

Court officials tell us ... because Hardy paid a $153 ticket for public intoxication, his case is considered closed.

Of course, there is a small chance Jeff could fight the ticket in court later this month ... but doesn't seem that'll be likely, considering he's not facing a conviction on his record.

41-year-old Hardy has been 1/2 of the famous Hardy Boyz tag team in the WWE for years. 

Hardy underwent knee surgery earlier this year and is currently rehabbing to get back in the ring.

NY Jets' Chris Herndon Suspended 4 Games ... After DUI Crash Case Conviction

AP

NY Jets TE Chris Herndon -- who had a breakout rookie campaign last year -- will be banned 4 games this season after he pled guilty in his DUI crash case, the NFL announced.

Herndon was lucky to be alive after cops say the 22-year-old smashed into another car on a New Jersey highway on June 2, 2018 after he was speeding at more than 100 mph.

TMZ Sports obtained footage from the aftermath of the crash ... and you can see Herndon's 2018 Nissan Armada nearly rolled over wrongside up.

CRASH AFTERMATH
TMZSports.com

To make matters worse, 23-year-old Herndon bombed field sobriety tests ... and he was arrested for DUI at the scene.

Chris fought the charge in court throughout the Jets' season last year ... but eventually cut a deal with prosecutors and pled guilty in the case.

Herndon was sentenced to complete 12 hours of an intoxicated driver education program. Plus, his driver's license was revoked for 90 days. He was also hit with $639 in fines and fees.

Now, the NFL has weighed in with their punishment, hitting the guy with a 4-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the initial ban was supposed to be 2 games ... but after a woman at the scene claimed the crash caused her bodily harm, the NFL upped it to 4.

Herndon -- who caught 39 passes for 502 yards and 4 TDs last season -- is expected to be a key contributor to the Jets this season when he returns from the ban.

Chris Pratt Heck Yeah, I Sing Garth & Johnny ... Gone Honky Tonkin'!!!

KARAOKE TIME
@trademarkrunt

Chris Pratt is going country ... hopping onstage to belt out some Johnny Cash and Garth Brooks tunes during a couple of surprise performances in Nashville. 

The 'Guardians of the Galaxy' star hit up a couple honky tonks Thursday night ... grabbing the mic at Tootsies to belt out Garth Brooks' "Papa Loved Mama." Ya can't say Chris held back -- he went all in for the performance, even if he was a little loose with the lyrics.

But, one stop wasn't enough for CP on this night. He also went next door to test his voice onstage at Robert's Western World for a rendition of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues." 

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Chris belted out the country music classic alongside musician Sarah Gayle Meech ... and as you can see, they rocked the house with a full band behind them!

Folks who were there say Chris totally made their night ... and Katherine Schwarzenegger's gotta be pretty proud of her husband's pipes. Or, at least his energy.

Johnny was famous for always wearing black ... but Chris went a different route and kept it low key with a denim button down and a white hat. Johnny would approve of the actor's black pants, though. 

Next stop ... the Grand Ole Opry!

Dwight Gooden Arrested for Coke Possession ... Again

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TMZ

9:28 AM PT -- Dwight's attorney, Edward V. Sapone, tells TMZ ... Gooden is taking the case seriously and is confident he will be able to put it behind him. 

MLB legend Dwight Gooden was arrested for cocaine possession last month in New Jersey, officials say ... the latest in a sad drug-riddled saga for the ex-Mets pitcher. 

Police in Holmdel pulled Gooden over in a routine traffic stop on June 7 -- and found 2 small ziplock-style baggies containing cocaine during a search of Doc's vehicle, according to documents filed by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and obtained by the NY Post

Gooden was charged with 3rd-degree possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and being under the influence. 

The 54-year-old has a storied past with drug use ... he tested positive for coke back in 1987, months after he won the World Series with the Mets. 

Then, in 1995 ... MLB suspended Gooden for the entire season for failing another drug test. 

In 2006, Gooden did an 8-month stint in jail after showing up to a probation hearing high on cocaine. 

In 2010, Gooden crashed his car in Jersey while under the influence of drugs -- he was driving his 5-year-old son to school at the time of the crash. 

In 2016, Gooden said he was clean and sober and had been getting involved with the church. 

Originally published -- 7/12 10:56 AM PT

Todd Gurley Sips on $3,000 Booze at Party in L.A. ... I Got Expensive Taste!!!

Todd Gurley was the life of the party at a swanky event in Beverly Hills this week ... sippin' on expensive booze and posing with even more expensive luxury cars!!

The L.A. Rams superstar was celebrating his cover of the Haute Living Los Angeles magazine at Mr. C on Monday ... and everybody in attendance was drinking Louis XIII cognac -- which runs around $3,000 a bottle!!

If that ain't enough ... the main centerpiece decoration of the party was a Rolls-Royce Phantom, which starts at around 450k!! Oh yeah, and Gurley also pulled up to the party in a different Rolls for good measure.

The 24-year-old was gifted a custom piece of artwork by artist Crime ... which featured cool details about TG's life on and off the field.

Gurley's NFL friends, Chris Long and Jay Ajayi, came through for support ... and looking at the pics, it probably wasn't very challenging to get them to stop by.

Pablo Escobar's Bro Elon Jacked My 'Flamethrower' BTW, Go Buy My Version!!!

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TMZ/Getty Composite

5:55 AM PT -- Elon has responded, and says ... "It's Not a Flamethrower, Mr. Escobar."

Also, Escobar will be slashing the prices of the flamethrower in half to $250.

Pablo Escobar's brother says Elon Musk ripped off the "not-a-flamethrower" idea and beat him to the punch -- but now he's got his own (hot) take on the gizmo ... and a possible legal fireball for Elon.  

The Colombian kingpin's bro, Roberto, just launched his own flamethrower -- which is basically a glorified propane torch -- and it is eerily similar to Elon's product from early 2018. There's a reason for that, according to Escobar's camp ... he claims Elon and co. jacked the idea after one of his engineers paid a visit to the family compound in mid-2017.

UNDER FIRE

We're told while Elon's guy was out in Medellin that summer, he and Robeto allegedly got to talkin' about a toy flamethrower that could "burn money." Burning cash -- literally -- is apparently a favorite pastime of the Escobars ... ya know, 'cause of how rich they were from all drug smuggling and whatnot in Pablo's heyday. Torching dinero ... the new wealth brag.

Anyway, Roberto's camp claims nothing ever came of that convo -- until, suddenly, in January of 2018 ... Elon announced his 'The Boring Company Not a Flamethrower,' which raked in millions in the first few days on digital shelves. We're told the Escobars were pissed.

Now, they've got their own version out in the marketplace -- which retails for $500 -- but more importantly, our Escobar sources say Roberto and la familia are weighing their options on potential legal action against Musk and TBC for alleged intellectual property theft.

The Boring Company

Might be an uphill battle for the fellas down in Colombia -- it's likely Elon got his own flamethrower patented from the jump ... so proving anything they're claiming could be difficult in court, if not impossible.

But hey, crazier things have happened ... like a Colombian drug lord running the international narcotics game for over two decades, or a fart app. Light it up, Escobars. 

Oh, and we've reached out to The Boring Company for comment ... so far, no word back.

Originally Published -- 12:50 AM PT

Team USA Women Poppin' Big Bottles of Bubbly ... at World Cup Parade

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BIG BOTTLES ONLY
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Megan Rapinoe and Team USA celebrated their World Cup victory with some MASSIVE bottles of champagne ... downin' bubbly and partying it up at the parade in NYC!!

Of course, it's the 4th World Cup victory for Team USA -- but this seems to be the biggest celebration yet ... the ratings for the women's World Cup in the U.S. were the biggest ever!

The champs pulled out all the stops for their big party -- with Rapinoe and her teammates passing around the huge gold bottle of Ace of Spades in the early hours of Wednesday's event.

The team took the stage following the parade and received keys to the city ... and Rapinoe -- who has publicly shared her issues with President Donald Trump -- shared a message of love for the crowd in attendance.

"LOVE MORE, HATE LESS"
PBS

Team USA defeated the Netherlands 2-0 in the World Cup final. Rapinoe won the Golden Boot for scoring the most goals in the tourney ... and the girls have been celebrating the huge accomplishment ever since -- including a pool party with a bunch of dancing and rapping on Tuesday!!

Music of choice?? Some old Migos and Lizzo!!

THE CELEBRATION CONTINUES

The win had President Barack Obama pumped up for Team USA -- showing off his awesome custom jersey and saying, "Proud to rep America’s best team! Congrats @USWNT and thanks for being such a strong inspiration for women and girls—and everybody—all across the country."

USA!!!!

Kevin Spacey Wants Judge to Toss Criminal Case ... After Accuser Pleads the 5th

TMZ

Kevin Spacey's sexual assault case took a stunning turn Monday ... when the alleged victim pled the 5th during questioning, prompting the judge to strike the accuser's previous testimony from the record.

The actor's lawyers asked the judge in Nantucket District Court to dismiss the case claiming the entire case is now completely compromised after the alleged victim exercised his Fifth Amendment right to not testify during intense questioning.

The judge said he would allow prosecutors time to figure out how they wanna proceed moving forward but reportedly added, "It may be pretty hard to get around this in trial. The matter may well be dismissed for the reason indicated. It's not going to happen today."

Spacey's team also wants the judge to dismiss the case after the alleged victim's mother, Heather Unruh, was supposed to be sequestered but reportedly watched her son's testimony on a TV monitor in the courthouse.

The pretrial hearing largely focused on the the whereabouts of the accuser's phone. Spacey's lawyers want it to examine the phone and the information it holds, but nobody knows where it is.

As we reported ... the accuser alleged Spacey was getting him drunk and grabbing his genitals. The alleged victim said he was texting his then-girlfriend during the alleged 2016 encounter at a Nantucket bar. The string of text messages were included in a recent court filing.

Spacey's team thinks the texts don't tell the whole story, particularly because most of the texts lack time stamps and it's possible the accuser may have deleted other texts that could change the context of the convo.

As we reported ... Spacey faces a felony charge for allegedly sexually assaulting the then-teenage boy back in 2016. The actor has pled not guilty.

'L&HH' Star Teairra Mari Could Face Felony Charge in DWI Case ... Past Comes Back to Haunt Her

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'Love & Hip Hop' star Teairra Mari could soon be facing a FELONY charge in her New York DWI case ... and it's all because of a previous DWI conviction on the other side of the country.

According to new legal docs obtained by TMZ ... prosecutors in NYC say they might upgrade her DWI charge from a misdemeanor to a felony, because way back in 2011 she was convicted of a DWI in Los Angeles. 

TMZ broke the story ... NYPD busted Mari for DWI on June 22, pulling her over after an officer saw her Dodge Charger come out of the Midtown Tunnel missing a front wheel. Cops say the bumper was dragging on the ground, and sparks were flying all around her car. 

Police say Mari reeked of booze, and she was booked for DWI and driving without a license. DMV records show her license is currently either revoked or suspended, most likely from her prior DWI conviction in L.A. 

Mari's defense attorney, Jane Remler, declined to comment.

UFC's B.J. Penn 911 Calls From Club He's Trying To Fight The DJ!!!

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911 AUDIO

UFC legend B.J. Penn tried to get into a scrap with a strip club DJ before he ultimately got into a street brawl with the bouncer ... this according to 911 calls obtained by TMZ Sports.

Penn was involved in a melee at Club Femme Nu in Honolulu last week ... with the UFC Hall of Famer mounting a man and shoving his elbow into the guy's throat.

STREET FIGHT
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Cops were called to the scene ... but since no victim came forward -- Penn was never arrested, and charges haven't been filed.

But, now, we're learning more about the incident ... with a 911 caller telling dispatch Penn had tried to fight the club's DJ before he got into the street fight outside.

"So B.J. Penn is here causing a fight with the DJ," a woman tells dispatch.

The woman is clearly annoyed with Penn ... and goes on to say he had been stirring up problems throughout the night, saying, "It's really pissing me off."

"He's just running around with shorts and no shirt on. Screaming and yelling and trying to cause problems again."

In another 911 call obtained by TMZ Sports ... you can hear a man clearly concerned about the fight Penn was in outside, with the guy telling dispatch they need help separating the two.

We've reached out to B.J. and his team for comment on the incident, but so far, no official word back yet.

Ben Affleck My Recovery Guru Saved My Life

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3:44 PM PT -- Ben tells us, "I recently testified in a trademark suit regarding Refuge Recovery House. As part of my testimony, I was asked to speak to my relationship with Noah Levine as it pertained to my own stay as a patient and to the suit at hand. I will forever remain grateful for the treatment I received at Refuge Recovery House as it had such a positive impact on me and my sobriety."
Ben continues, "I had a strictly professional relationship with Mr. Levine and do not know him outside of his capacity as a therapist. I was not and am not aware of what allegations have been made against him. 

Ben Affleck has jumped into a lawsuit over the recovery center where he stayed for 40 days .... saying the guy who treated him for alcoholism literally saved his life.

Ben is supporting Noah Levine, who founded Refuge Recovery House, an alternative program to AA. A woman whom Levine dated accused him of sexual misconduct and other issues a year ago ... the LAPD investigated and prosecutors rejected the case. Nevertheless, the Board of Directors is trying to force Levine out, saying the allegations support getting rid of him.

Affleck just filed a declaration, explaining he was a patient last August at the Refuge Recovery treatment center after losing his sobriety. He has also regularly attended meetings and even got one-on-one therapy with Levine.

Ben says, "Working with Noah and his Refuge Recovery program has, quite literally, turned my life around. Today I am sober, happy, healthy and have custody of my three children. All of those things are a result of having Noah in my life. I don't know what I would have done without him."

Ben goes on ... "Noah's patient instruction in sobriety, Buddhism, patience, kindness, compassion and forgiveness form the bedrock of the foundation of my life today. I owe him for my professional life today, the life I have with my children, and the inner sense of equanimity I am actually able to reach from time to time."

Backgrid

In supporting Levine, Ben throws shade at lots of Hollywood hangers-on, saying, "I have been around many people in the recovery field, the self-help world, and the world of those who hang around celebrities for profit and attention ... Noah is without a doubt the person with the most integrity, the most honor, the most genuine compassion and the least motivated by self-interest I have ever known."

And, Lindsay Shookus, who calls Ben her "then live-in boyfriend," says, "I cannot begin to express the tremendous value that Noah's teaching and treatment counseling has had up both me and Ben, and upon my relationship with Ben."

Originally published -- 11:00 AM PT

Kylie Jenner Something's Brewin' w/ 'Kylie' Booze!!!

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TMZ/Getty Composite

Now that Kylie Jenner's legally allowed to drink ... why not get in the booze biz?!

Kylie has applied for trademarks for "Kylie" and "Kylie Jenner" ... two names she's already trademarked for different goods. But, this time she wants to slap those marks on spirits, liquor, wine, alcohol cocktail mixes, prepared wine cocktails, non-alcoholic cocktail bases, energy sports drinks, smoothies, beers ... plus use the marks for restaurants, bars and cocktail lounges. 

As we first reported ... Kylie expanded her business just last month filing trademarks for "Kylie Baby" to make strollers and all kinds of baby products. The reality star didn't stop there ... she also filed for a trademark for "Kylie Hair" to pump out dryers, curling irons and all kinds of stuff.

Kylie, of course, is already a global brand thanks to Kylie Cosmetics, which is what got her inducted into the Billionaire's club. Expansion, baby!!!

UFC's B.J. Penn Fights Strip Club Bouncer In Street ... New Police Audio

EXCLUSIVE
STREET FIGHT
TMZSports.com

6/26 10:02 AM PT -- TMZ Sports has obtained dispatch audio from the incident in which you can hear a law enforcement official tell officers, "BJ Penn is back there trying to fight everybody. No weapon."

When cops arrived to the scene, the officers told dispatch Penn had "ran off" and was no longer at the club.

THE DISPATCH AUDIO

8:31 AM PT -- Law enforcement sources tell us ... cops DID, in fact, respond to the club after receiving a call about an "argument at an adult night club."

However, we're told Penn was NOT arrested -- and a warrant for his arrest has not been issued.

In fact, we're told the victim has not come forward to police and cops are not currently investigating.

It's possible the victim could still go to cops ... but seems unlikely at this point.

In other words, they scrapped and it's over.

UFC Hall of Famer B.J. Penn got into a fight with a bouncer at a strip club in Honolulu late Monday night ... with the altercation spilling onto the street ... and TMZ Sports has the video.

We spoke with the owner of Club Femme Nu who told us Penn was escorted out of the bar around midnight because he was acting "very drunk."

While the 40-year-old MMA legend was being escorted out, things turned physical -- and Penn began to fight the door guy.

Multiple witnesses watched as Penn -- a former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion -- smothered the door guy to the ground and took control over the other man. At one point, you can see Penn shoving his forearm into the other man's throat.

Several men can be heard asking B.J. to stop fighting and let the guy up -- but he never does.

One of the bystanders finally decides he's seen enough and begins punching Penn in the head in an attempt to end the fight ... but the other men call him off, so B.J. and the bouncer can finish their fight 1-on-1.

Eventually, someone calls the cops and we're told several squad cars arrived at the scene -- but B.J. had already left the premises by the time the officers got there.

Attempts to reach Penn for comment were unsuccessful.

Originally Published -- 6/25 6:13 PM

Tiger Woods Removed from Wrongful Death Car Crash Lawsuit

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Tiger Woods is no longer a defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of a former employee at Tiger's Florida restaurant, who died last year in a DUI crash.

TMZ Sports broke the story ... the estate of Nicholas Immesberger sued The Woods -- along with Tiger and his girlfriend, Erica Herman, the restaurant's GM -- claiming Nicholas was overserved alcohol at the restaurant in the hours before the crash.

In the original suit, the Immesberger estate claimed Nicholas -- who was a bartender -- stayed after a shift on 12/10/2018 and was served to the point of "severe intoxication" before being allowed to get in his car and drive. He crashed and died shortly after.

The family claimed Tiger and Erica knew Nicholas personally -- knew he had an alcohol problem -- and should never have allowed him to be served alcohol.

But, Tiger's attorney, Barry Postman, says the family has had a change of heart when it comes to Woods personally ... and have voluntarily dismissed his name from the lawsuit.

"The decision was clearly appropriate and reflected the fact that Mr. Woods should not have been included in the lawsuit in the first place because he had nothing to do with Mr. Immesberger's death,'' Postman said in a statement.

"While the situation was tragic, the facts will ultimately show that the cause of Mr. Immesberger's car accident were the many decisions made by Mr. Immesberger on the night of his passing.''

Earlier this month, Tiger was asked about the lawsuit ... and said, "We're all very sad that Nick passed away. It was a terrible night, a terrible ending, and just -- we feel bad for him and his entire family. It's very sad."